January 28, 2005

Crapo Hails Sage Grouse Decision

Calls it big opportunity for state-federal relationship

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is applauding the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reject a proposal to put the eastern sage grouse on the list of endangered species. The Service is now considering sage grouse conservation throughout the bird's range in light of continuing efforts by the State of Idaho, other Western states, and private organizations."The Fish and Wildlife Service has made the sensible decision to study sage grouse conservation as a whole instead of piece-by-piece," said Crapo. "This is a step in the right direction, and I will continue overseeing this issue from the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water." Crapo chairs the subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which has jurisdiction over ESA reform efforts. Crapo complimented the announcement by noting the continuing study of sage grouse is both biological and administrative. Present plans call for conservation programs in each Western state to be analyzed by the Fish and Wildlife Service under a new policy. The federal Policy for Evaluating Conservation Efforts (PECE) provides federal wildlife managers a new approach for recognizing effective state efforts in the administration of the Endangered Species Act. If state programs are found to be adequate, then no new federal program will be create."We are on the verge of a new chapter in species conservation," said Crapo. "As this issue moves forward, I believe we will see real partnership between federal and state governments. We will also be able to include private groups more easily as partners in the effort."# # #